Head Cidermaker at The County Cider Company Inc.
Read on to meet with Jenifer Dean, Managing Director and Head Cidermaker at The County Cider Company Inc. Enjoy!
Q. County Cider is more than a cidery, isn’t it?
A. Absolutely! We are located in the heart of Prince Edward County in the hamlet of Waupoos. At County Cider, we grow apples on our own family farm, host visitors at our Tasting Room, retail store and Patio Restaurant which overlooks the Bay of Quinte. You will also find our ciders including flavoured options and Waupoos Premium in the LCBO, grocery stores, restaurants and bars across Ontario. I love the one-offs we have been making this past summer with flavor like lime, root beer, coffee, blackberry peach and our newest elderflower sour.
Q. What makes your cider unique?
A. We grow a number of traditional English and French cider varieties – varieties with great names like Yarlington Mill, Brown Snout, Kingston Black, Dabinett and Michelin. You may not want to eat these apples fresh because of their high acidity or tannin but the balance of those qualities along with culinary and dessert apples makes for really good, complex ciders. Ciders with ‘sessionability’!
Q. Tell us about Grant Howes’ legacy.
A. My late husband founded the company and we have been specializing in authentic hard ciders since 1995. Grant was not the first cidery in Ontario but we were the only cider company for a long time. Grant was a true leader and supporter of the industry. He was very passionate about recognition for Ontario- made ciders and today there are over 100 cider companies in the province.
Q. What are the job opportunities in the industry?
A. This is a second career for me after realizing I wanted a more rewarding job. I went back to school full time for three years and became a wine maker which transitioned nicely to cider making. There are so many exciting career paths for people from management of apple and cider production to quality assurance, marketing and branding – it’s a farm to table business.
Q. What’s next for County Cider?
A. We are looking at opportunities to expand distribution across Canada and have an ongoing trial with Hong Kong that I am optimistic about. We really value Ontario consumers and supply large markets in Toronto, Ottawa and Quinte. We have a product for every palette, from fresh and fruity to mature and English-style like our Tortured Path Cider inspired by trips to Somerset. Everyone can enjoy their perfect cider match with County Cider.
To learn more about The Country Cider Company follow this link.
Thanks Jenifer for your time!
Food and Beverage Ontario